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Covid-19: 14 confirmed cases, one death

The National Communication Committee on Covid-19 held a press conference this morning at 11.30am at the Prime Minister’s office.

Health Minister Dr Kailesh Jagatpal laid much emphasis of social distancing, avoid crowds, stay strictly indoors.

Dr Gujadhur, the Health Services Director, informed that there are 14 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Mauritius. One of them has died.

We have started ‘contact tracing’ exercise. More results will come out today.

We had a case admitted at SSRN Hospital yesterday, a French citizen, who had fever and his tests confiemd he had Covid. His condition is stable for the moment.

The 13 cases are at Souillac hospital.

The person who died holds dual nationality, Belgium-Mauritius, he was abroad, he came back through Dubai. He fell sick on 14 March. He was admitted, was isolated and on 17 March had a Covid test.  On 18 March, his condition deteriorated and he died.

We have three teams on field to do contact tracing and will trace all those who have been in contact with the infected persons.

Dr Gujadhur stressed that the public should respect confinement to avoid propagation.

Dr Zubayr Joomye, Adviser to the prime Minister, again spoke of the importance of the confinement.  When we say supermarkets are open, it doesn’t mean we should go and stockpile. We should only go to buy basic provisions so that everyone can do their shopping.  Government is now taking legal provisions to strictly enforce confinement.

DCP Jhugroo, speaking for the police, stated that when the confinement started on Friday, police adopted a soft approach, but it was found that many people are not obeying the instructions, moving out unnecessarily, people going to the beach etc. This is making police duties more complicated.

The police are asking the public to fully cooperate. As from now, police will act strictly and sternly. There will be roadblocks and the police will not hesitate to arrest non-complying citizens

Quarantine units have been declared restricted access and parents and relatives of those in quarantine should not visit them.

DCP Jhugroo also advised the public to not come to the airport tomorrow to meet their closed ones who would be returning to Mauritius. To recall, many Mauritian citizens stranded overseas would be coming to Mauritius tomorrow and would be immediately sent to quarantine. Government will provide transport. There is no need for families to come to the airport. Access will be prohibited.

DCP Jhugroo denied allegations that policemen are not getting masks. He confirmed that 20,000 masks have been distributed yesterday and the police has enough stock.  He warned the population against fake news on social media and said the police and cybercrime unit is investigating the sources and action will be taken.

Health Minister added that more than 500,000 units of surgical masks available in hospitals as well as 30,000 N95 masks for medical personnel. We have sufficient stocks of gloves, etc. We have also ordered more stocks that will arrive on Monday. He dispelled rumours that masks and equipment are not sufficiently available. He says even pharmacists have sufficient stocks, and there is no likelihood of any shortage.  In addition, officers of the Consumer Affairs Unit are checking on the prices of these products in all shops and pharmacies.

The minister confirmed that one of the Covid-19 patients is a 15-year-old school girl and the ministry has already done the needful to trace all students, teachers, etc who have been in contact with her.